School Board candidate forum cancelled after threat of violence posted on Facebook

A school board candidate forum that was planned for last evening, Monday, October 16, was cancelled abruptly the day of the event after the venue hosting the event, Good Judy’s Bar & Club downtown, received a violent threat on Facebook.

The threat was in the form of a comment written by Luke Mitchell under a “Mesa County Liberty Report” post announcing the forum. The “Liberty Report” page is favored by local conservatives and hosted by an unnamed person who describes himself as a “media personality.” The site description says it gives readers “a perspective that local corporate media won’t give you in Mesa County,” yet it posts news articles from the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel, KREX-TV, the New York Times, CNBC and other corporate media outlets.

The anonymous “media personality” who hosts the Mesa County Liberty Report Facebook page. (Photo:YouTube)

Commenters under the school board post called the venue “a leftist bar” and an “alphabet bar” (referring to the letters LGBTQ, as in “LGBTQ-friendly.”) Beneath those comments, Luke Mitchell wrote,

“Good time to clean up lots of problems at once.”

Mitchell has made other posts on Facebook that embrace violence and indicate his disdain for gay people.

April 1 post by Luke Mitchell promoting violent ideology

The planned forum was a joint effort between KWSI 100.3 Radio, Karis House, a local nonprofit homeless shelter for youth 13-24, and Good Judy’s Bar and Club at First and Main Streets. Attendance at the event was free and it was open to the public, but people were asked to register for the event online. Good Judy’s is a gay-friendly bar in downtown Grand Junction. The threat appeared as a comment underneath a post letting people know about the event:

Comments beneath the Mesa County Liberty Report’s post about the school board forum to be held at Good Judy’s Bar and Club.


Another post by Luke Mitchell condoning threatening ideology

In 2016, a mass shooter opened fire inside the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, a gay-friendly venue, killing 49 people and wounding 53 more. The FBI considered it an act of terror and a hate crime.

The announcement of the school board forum on the Mesa County Liberty Report appeared on October 6, and on October 9, the proprietor of Good Judy’s contacted the Grand Junction police with reports of cyberbullying and threats of violence against the bar.

The police report (pdf) says a person “reported issues with cyberbullying at the business” and “reported the business is getting threats about harming people there. The party “stated Good Judy’s is hosting an event for the school board campaign” and “stated the bar’s Facebook page was receiving threats.” The reporting party “appeared concerned that an incident may occur at the event.” The responding officer said “I reviewed the Facebook comments and the following is a summary: In the photo, a Facebook user states “Time to clean up lots of problems at once.”  The police entered screenshots of the threats into evidence in case something occurred.

The school board candidate forum is currently being rescheduled.

  6 comments for “School Board candidate forum cancelled after threat of violence posted on Facebook

  1. The “anonymous media personality” isn’t actually anonymous. He has a name. Don’t know why he’s not so up front about it now.

    “Brandon Leuallen pens the Mesa County Liberty Report, a newsletter published on social-media channels. His writings are geared toward the right-wing faction of Mesa County that protested vaccines during the height of the pandemic and supports election-denying candidates. Leuallen has not signed the pledge, but said he was open to learning more about Restore the Balance.”

    • He is also a believer in Ivermectin to improve outcomes from Covid-19. In JAMA, US studies published in Oct 2022 and Feb 2023 showed that it was no more effective that a placebo. In one study, more people died who were part of the Ivermectin group than those who were in the placebo group even though it wasn’t statistically significant.

  2. Go to the FB page — report Luke Mitchell [the person who made the comment] to FB for Violence. Maybe he’ll be put in FB timeout for a while. Maybe not, but it’s the least that you can do

  3. The postings by these misfits are suggestive of a potential hate crime. Duh.
    By god, I hope law enforcement is concerned enough to have direct conversations.
    Nope, looks like not so per report.
    SPLC and ACLU might be interested in this occurrence.

  4. It is beyond comprehension how hatred incubates festering sickness and contamination in the human petridish we call social media.

  5. Are the police planning to do anything? Is it legal to make threats like that? Is the PD going to provide security at the re-scheduled event?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *